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Manager's To Do

Manager’s To Do For Jewelers: January 2016

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Week 1 / JAN. 3-8

Planning Bring your staff together for a post-holidays strategy session. Go over what worked, what didn’t, what your competitors did, what 2015 taught you. Then spin the session forward: Where do you want to be by the end of 2016? The secret to such sessions is to get specific with your targets: Do you want to expand your bridal clientele? Attract more female self-purchasers? Appeal to more Gen Y shoppers? Once you set such goals, you can determine merchandising and advertising strategies.

Finances File all co-op claims for holiday advertising. Put this off and you’ll risk forgetting it.

Customer Maintenance Call up your best customers to see how their holiday gift-giving went. As for the first-timers in December, follow up with a nice-to-meet you offer. This could be a gift certificate tied to Valentine’s Day.

Marketing/Operations January typically sees the coldest days of the year. Have a plan in place should the weather get so severe that it interrupts business. Could you, for example, offer a 2 percent discount for every inch of snow that falls if customers are willing to brave the conditions to come in? Or could you boost your online offerings?

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Week 2 / JAN. 10-15

Inventory Don’t wait another day. Restock your important bread-and-butter pieces immediately. It will be Valentine’s Day before you know it.

Operations Create a yearlong calendar for your website listing store events, new designers and promotions. (If you can’t keep your website up to date, get someone else who can.) A calendar will also get you thinking about events. If you want to try a trunk show or two, you’ll need to start booking designers soon.

Finances Use any extra cash from the holidays to pay down vendors so that you’re in a better position this year to take advantage of trade terms. Be sure too to return any leftover memo goods. Your vendors may need them for the year’s first trade shows.

Staffing Evaluate staff: It’s easy to see your best and weakest performers immediately following your busiest month of the year; this is the time to make those changes.

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Week 3 / JAN. 17-22

Display Select a prominent case as your Designer of the Month case. Make it a scheduled event (note it in your website calendar) and kick off the first day of each month with coffee or champagne for customers. Let designers know they will be featured and see if they can supply extra pieces for your collection.

Marketing Plan Valentine’s Day decor/dress themes. (How can you look romantic this holiday? Red velvet dresses for all staff? )

Advertising Work on your advertising plans for 2016. Start by breaking down your monthly spending based on monthly store sales of the last three or four years. (For example, if February accounts for 7 percent of your total sales for the year, allocate approximately 7 percent of your ad budget toward that month.) For a jeweler in a normal location, a working budget based on 5 to 8 percent of gross sales is typical.


Week 4 / JAN. 24-29

Data Go through the wish lists you collected in the months leading up to the holiday season. They can give you very useful insights into what specific customers might be looking to add to their jewelry wardrobes in 2016 or as gifts for other occasions. Add the notes to your POS database.

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Training When was the last time you trained sales staff on the benefits of polishing jewelry in front of customers; before and after they present a piece of jewelry for a shopper’s personal inspection? Now’s the time.

Finances Need some “social proof” to nudge you toward better money behaviors. Join up for a personal-finance site like Mint.com, which, for example, will let you know you’re paying 167 percent more for auto insurance than people like you typically do. Or, it might point out that if you ate out less — say, in line with the average in your area — you could save as much as $1,000 in six months.

This article originally appeared in the January 2016 edition of INSTORE.

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Texas Jeweler Knew He'd Get Only One Shot at a GOB Sale, So He Wanted to Make It Count

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Manager's To Do

Capitalizing on Valentine’s Engagement Sales, March Madness Ideas and More Manager’s To-Do Items for March

Your managerial planning for the month starts here.

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Mar. 3-9

BUDGETING Time to get started on making a budget for the 2019 buying season and get ready to trade in old inventory for new inventory. Also, if possible, have an inventory reduction sale to get rid of the dated inventory before going to Vegas.

SALES FLOOR Beware the ex-brides of March! Divorce filings are highest this month. Do you have a script ready explaining why the resale value of an engagement ring may not meet the customer’s expectations? If not, get busy.

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MARKETING Remember all those clients who bought engagement rings in advance of Valentine’s Day? Call to see what their plans are for wedding bands.

Mar. 10-16

MERCHANDISE It’s March. Embrace the madness. The NCAA Men’s Basketball Finals starts on March 17 and runs through to April 8. It’s a great chance to clear out old inventory with a quick Sheer Madness Sale! At the very least, organize a pool for staff.

SHOWROOM Is your custom area as friendly as it could be? Does it feature a gallery highlighting past designs, portraits of satisfied customers, updated displays, appropriate lighting, a signature scent?

Mar. 17-23

MARKETING Hold a Prom Dress Party. Encourage girls to bring their dresses into the store and try on jewelry with the dress. Identify pieces to excite them at prices that will entice a sale (that means jewelry with a big look for less money).

MERCHANDISING Pull out your promotional calendar and view it from the perspective of using the events to manage and reduce specific inventory. Annual customer appreciation sales, trunk shows, open houses, and repair/jewelry remodeling events can all give your finances an even greater boost if you execute them with a view to moving certain items.

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MANAGEMENT Download a time tracker to your phone and start logging how you spend your work life — not because there’s much value in the record you create, but because the very act of recording can have a powerful psychological impact, leading you to use your time much more efficiently. (Warning: Brace yourself to be alarmed at how you fritter away time.)

Mar. 24-30

SHOWROOM In one analysis of a university building in Oregon, workers on the greenery-facing side took 19 percent fewer sick days. It apparently has to do with how we evolved to function best in nature-rich settings. If you can’t knock a side wall out to provide a view of the glorious outdoors, buy a few potted plants to place around your sales floor.

PERSONAL Take an inventory of your tech use and evaluate each item for its usefulness, working on the assumption that if something can’t justify itself, it’s out. Exit the social networks you barely use and get rid of the apps that, when you think about it, have no benefit. Yep, that means Candy Crush may have to go.

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Day of Unplugging, Near Miss Day and More Important March Dates

Don’t miss your chance to have a parade for Mardi Gras.

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20 There’s a reason the Hare Krishnas hand out flowers before soliciting donations — the awesome hold reciprocity has over humans. The psychologist Robert Cialdini notes in his bestseller Influence that we’re so deeply primed to reciprocate generosity that customers who receive a free gift become far more likely to make a purchase “in return.” Since it’s spring, take a tip from the Hare Krishnas and hand out fresh flowers to customers.

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4 Day of Unplugging. The challenge: 24 hours without phone or Internet contact. Can you do it? The benefits are said to be surprising.

5 Celebrate Mardi Gras with a bead party. Cook up some red beans and rice, stick on some music and have yourself a parade.

23 Thirty years ago, a mountain-sized asteroid passed within 500,000 miles of Earth — a very, very close call according to NASA. Luckily, we survived and Near Miss Day was born. In thanks, dig up one of your or your sales associate’s recent “near misses” and debate what may have saved the sale. A lower price? More romance? Bruce Willis?

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Single Tasking Day, Red Carpet Season and More Big Dates for February

The essential jeweler’s calendar for the month starts here.

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4 With more than two billion users, you need to be sure you’ve fully explored the potential of Facebook. On the 15th Anniversary of Facebook’s Launch by Mark Zuckerberg and three friends, adopt the company’s motto, “Move Fast and Break Things,” and commit to shaking things up with your social media marketing. Test some sponsored posts. Get absurdly specific with your targeting. Try a contest. Try more video. Follow INSTORE’s Facebook page at facebook.com/instoremag.

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10 Red-carpet season rolls on with The Grammys today and The Academy Awards on Feb. 25. Slip into fashion-maven mode and get your customers excited about jewelry’s cutting-edge trends with tweets, snaps, posts and blogs.

14 Love with a touch of panic is one way to look at Valentine’s Day. And not just for the guys. If you need ideas, go to instoremag.com and test out our archive search.

22 On Single Tasking Day, let your brain do what it’s been designed so beautifully to handle — focus on one thing at a time: one conversation, one meal, one task, one baseball game.

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